The Delhi High Court on Friday observed that every child has the right to use his or her mother’s surname if he or she wishes to.
Justice Rekha Palli made the observation while hearing a petition by a minor girl’s father seeking direction to the authorities to reflect his surname in his daughter’s documents and not her mother’s .
“A father does not own the daughter to dictate that she should use only his surname. If the minor daughter is happy with her surname, what is your problem?” Justice Palli said, while declining to pass any direction on the father's plea.
Advocate Anuj Kumar Ranjan, appearing for the man, submitted that his client’s daughter is six years old and cannot decide such issues on her own. Mr. Ranjan contended that the child’s surname was changed by his client’s estranged wife.
The lawyer claimed the surname of the child was changed on the birth certificate on the pretext of correction of spelling. This was in violation of provisions under Section 11 of the Delhi Registration of Births and Deaths Rules, the advocate submitted.
Mr. Ranjan further argued that the name of his client’s daughter was also fraudulently changed on her Aadhaar card. The change in name will make it difficult to avail insurance claims as the policy was taken in the name of the girl with her father’s surname, he said.
The High Court, however, disposed of the petition with a liberty to the man to approach his daughter’s school to show his name as the father.